With the release of the long-awaited sequel to Coming to America, we couldn't help but feel nostalgic about when the original came out back in '88. It was certainly a simpler time — when cassettes and CD's were still ruling the world.
Although the original film eschewed any overt Hip-Hop references, there was no denying that the culture was permeating many aspects of the Queens-set adventure. It got us thinking: what were the best albums released back in 1988?
Big Daddy Kane: Long Live the Kane
When Kane burst onto the scene in '88, he completely changed the game. His complex rhyme style ushered in a completely new era in Hip-Hop.
Public Enemy: It Takes a Million to Hold Us Back
While decidedly a different project than Kane's aforementioned album, PE's sophomore effort showed just how different Hip-Hop could look and feel at the time.
N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton
As groundbreaking as any album ever released, N.W.A. gave millions of Americans a front row seat to what was happening in a certain pocket of Southern California.
MC Lyte: Lyte as a Rock
MC Lyte is one of the most criminally underrated lyricists ever. Her debut was not only groundbreaking — signaling a woman could have a solo career — but Lyte also went onto address issues not previously explored on rap records before.
Marley Marl: In Control Volume 1
Today, we've seen how producers like DJ Khaled and Hit-Boy can take top-billing on projects. Marley Marl's In Control Volume 1 was an early example of how the maestro could architect a successful project without having to be an MC. "The Symphony" remains one of the best posse cuts of all-time.
EPMD: Strictly Business
1988 proved to be the debut for several artists/groups. EPMD bucked a growing trend that an album had to rely on several features to be successful.
Eazy-E was initially the biggest breakout act coming from N.W.A. before Ice Cube and Dr. Dre eventually took the baton and ran with it.
Boogie Down Productions: By All Means Necessary
By All Means Necessary marked a shift in KRS-One's thematic exploration following the death of Scot La Rock and their work on Criminal Minded.
Run-DMC: Tougher Than Leather
Although it wasn't as big of a hit as their previous three efforts, Tougher Than Leather remains a vital piece of Run-DMC's legacy.
Eric B & Rakim: Follow the Leader
If there's ever been a Herculean task in Hip-Hop, it was producing a follow-up to Paid in Full. Somehow, Eric B. & Rakim created something equally special.